News & Insights 29 March 2021

How to create a charity video during a pandemic?

Producing a charity video in a pandemic, who doesn’t love a challenge? This is the story of how we, at Action Tutoring, managed to create our new video.

Click to watch the new Action Tutoring video

Back in September, Action Tutoring started its first online tutoring sessions after trials during the summer months. To encourage more volunteers to apply to tutor online, the marketing team were tasked with producing a video showing the benefits of online tutoring. The team worked with our fantastic videographer, Owen, to create the project.

Top tip 1: Create a detailed brief – formulating a plan for what the video will look like, what it must include and its overall purpose is extremely important. Make this as detailed as possible.

Producing a detailed brief for our videographer was critical, as we really wanted to shine a light on the benefits of our online tutoring. The brief detailed exactly what we were looking for, the main aims of the project and examples of other charity videos we were trying to replicate allowing Owen to have clear direction. Once we had our plan in place, the next step was to find schools that would be a good setting for our video.

Top tip 2: Find a supportive setting in our case a school, that you have great communication with and our supportive of the work you do. We have worked with Prendergast Vale for years and this allowed us to overcome any issues quickly.

In the run up to the day of the shoot at the secondary school, a hiccup arrived. Having returned from a holiday to stay at his parents, our marketing manager’s mum started to feel unwell. A Covid test was needed. Unfortunately, the test came back inconclusive, making it impossible for him to attend the filming as they had to quarantine.

Fortunately, it had already been planned that our marketing assistant, Luc, would join the filming to support. On the day of filming, Luc brilliantly led the way, directing our videographer to ensure we secured the shots that were needed to make the video. Interviews with pupils were completed in a Covid secure way, masks were worn and social distancing was implemented.

Top tip 3: Interview people who are impacted by the work you dointerviewing pupils on camera for the first time allowed us to show the impact of Action Tutoring’s work on those who it supports.

As the plan for the video centred around interviews with our pupils, it was important to get as much content as possible, so that we were able to select the very best soundbites for the final edit. In order to make sure we covered a range of voices, we selected three different interviewees. By liaising with our programme coordinator, Lily, who knows the pupils well, we were able to interview pupils who we felt would be confident in sharing their experience of an Action Tutoring programme.

The results of the filming were great. Engaging interviews with the pupils, a comprehensive interview with the deputy headteacher and some dynamic cutaways to use in our video.

Top tip 4: Get more footage than you think you need – it’s great to have more content to choose from. There will often be issues, whether that is distorted sound or out of focus shots.

Unfortunately, due to lockdown rules, we were unable to get footage of volunteers tutoring from home. So, we made it our aim to secure some footage at a primary school.

Owing to the school closures in January, we had to cancel our planned filming at a primary school. After finding out schools wouldn’t return till March, it was decided to go ahead with producing the video with the footage we had.

Our videographer started to produce the first few drafts of the video. As you may have noticed from the final cut, we used old footage of tutors in the classrooms as we were unable to film in people’s homes – this worked really well.

Top tip 5: Don’t forget the subtitles – your video will be used on social media where people don’t have the sound on. The content should also be made accessible for all.

After much back and forth – we settled on the final version which you can see today. Despite some hiccups along the way, we are proud of the video we have produced and proved creating a charity video in a pandemic can be done.